14 February 2014

Friday is the (Inspirational) Movie Night: Alice in Wonderland (1951; 2010)



A double treat. Now, obviously, there are some significant differences between Disney's Alice in Wonderland (1951) and Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (2010).

Disney's Alice is a family-friendly musical basically and only suffering depicted is Alice's existential anguish (+ cards/guards being carried away to be executed + the tension around the naive oysters + some cartoon-like violence). And you get singing/gossiping flowers, the adorable Dormouse, Dinah and the gullible oysters, the rather bipolar Caterpillar, etc...while the basic narrative could be "a girl wonders off and explores a bit". It's not as deep nor dense as the original books, but gives you a somewhat glamoured-up and coloured version of Alice-logic and Wonderland-logic.

Burton's version sequel of the classical story is much darker, much more violent and decisive... in the sense of bringing political power play, oppression, real insanity, death into the picture. The characters that were slightly off the hinge when Alice was young (read: in the books and the Disney movie) have gone quite awry and scary. And - as in most of the bring in the savior stories - Alice's duty (while nobody asked her if she wanted to have such) is to save their world/put the correct monarch in place.

The final verdict is as follows: Disney's Alice is a fun classic, an older and very white version of Dora the Explorer, about a girl enjoying her fantasy world; Burton's Alice is the over-and-over retold story of an unexpected child savior (see The Chronicles of Narnia, The Neverending Story, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, among many others). The only perk is the fact that he has interwoven that with the Alice narrative and explored Carroll's fantasy world and its creatures. Therefore, you pretty much have to be familiar with the books or the 1951 movies (as the golden standard among all the Alice-films) to understand where Burton comes from.
The old one is much better and you should know it by heart (the whole thing on giving yourself useful advices while challenging the rules of those around you, speaking truth to power, trying to balance being polite and not putting up with BS). Burton's Alice is interesting mostly just for his fans. And, well, yes, due to the fantasy world being offered as an escape from dreadful existence as female in Victorian England.  


On a lighter note, here you have the tune & video that Pogo has made from Disney's Alice. The singing flowers and such.

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